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Robert Slotta <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Mark Twain Forum <[log in to unmask]>
Fri, 3 Dec 2004 09:39:38 -0500
text/plain (66 lines)
As for me, I'll celebrate Mark Twain's birth, life, & death today & every
day,  just as I have the past 20+ years.  By a strange "coincidence" Mark
Twain's death certificate & funeral records  were united for the first time
with his handwritten manuscript about his birthday & life on November 30th
1998 at the corner of Mark Twain Drive & Mark Twain Court.  They shall
remain together and I am honored to have been the one to unite these
extraordinary documents by pure fate, as it wasn't orchestrated by anything
except Providence.  Of course, April 21st doesn't go by without thousands of
people thinking of Twain, too.

We all admire Mark Twain (hopefully, that is, this is mighty dangerous
territory to make such a statement but I stick my neck out just the same).
If we didn't, we wouldn't be here (unless we were here simply to stir up
trouble for those who do, or had political views to spread on a popular
site, etc.).

I thought Kathy's idea to commemorate Mark Twain by making his birthday a
national holiday was the very best idea I ever saw on this forum!  (& liked
her article, too). I spoke to other Twain enthusiasts on the phone and they
unanimously thought it was also a superb idea.  To celebrate his death and
make April 21st a national holiday would be just as fine as celebrating his
birth on November 30th.  Both days are equally sacred.  So long as we
recognize our greatest literary celebrity (as a journalist, humorist, etc.),
any day would be copasetic.  The point is this planet is better off having
had Mark Twain than not. Making one day a national holiday to celebrate it
is a great idea. Period. Most people celebrate birthdays, and are sad at
funerals, so it is infinitely more natural to celebrate the fact Sam Clemens
was born, otherwise he couldn't have died in the first place.

Those of you on this forum who agree a national holiday is a good idea
please contact me personally at [log in to unmask] to move this idea
forward.  Those of you from Canada, France, Saudi Arabia, etc., need not
apply as your vote does not count in this particular endeavor.

When I said "can't we all get along" it was directed towards this specific
ideal.  Specifically, I thought "can't a body of Mark Twain enthusiasts be
the nucleus of such a movement to commemorate the life of Mark Twain by
having his birthday be a national holiday?...Can't this be ONE idea Mark
Twain enthusiasts can agree upon?"  Especially since it is clear we are an
extraordinarily diverse group that never had/ will never agree upon anything

The interpretation of my suggestion to encompass the whole forum to "get
along" wasn't ever any effort to tame or censor  this often belligerent &
derogatory site.  The statement to "get along" was made for one purpose--to
at least agree Twain is worthy of a national holiday & to develop it.  This
blew a fuse in the heads of some who plainly have their own agenda that has
nothing to do with Twain.

The confusion was in part my fault, for I wished Twain a Happy Birthday.  I
Didn't wish him a Happy Death Day at the same time.  Yes, Twain rejoiced at
his death, and greatly envied the death of others.  I am sure he treasured
the death of his closest friends & family.  He also wished he & all his
friends would have died while in their teens to preserve happy & more
innocent times.  That is certain.  But if he were alive in a human body
right now he would want to be able to write & speak out regarding all the
wonders & disasters facing humanity today.  That is another certainty.  The
fact remains, however, that he is still very much alive in our culture &
always will be.  Reports of his death ARE greatly exaggerated! I for one am
very glad he was born!

Long Live Mark Twain!!

Bob Slotta